Errol Spence Jr vs Lamont Peterson # IBF Welterweight Title
January 20, New York NY
Lucas Matthysse vs Tewa Kiram Many
January 27, Inglewood CA
Jorge Linares vs Mercito Gesta # WBA Lightweight Title (January 27, Inglewood CA)
Many were expecting Jorge Linares to face Mikey Garcia in a highly anticipated showdown, but the two sides could not come to a deal, as Garcia turned down the offer. Instead, he is facing the overmatched Mercito Gesta in what should be a tune-up fight for another major match down the road.
Oleksandr Usyk vs Mairis Breidis # WBO / WBC Cruiserweight Title (January 27, Riga LATVIA)
This highly anticipated cruiserweight matchup will be the second round of the World Boxing Super Series, with division champion Usyk set to take on the undefeated Breidis in his home country of Latvia. This will be a unification match between two highly-touted Eastern Europeans. Both Usyk and Breidis have long been boxing’s blue-chip up and comers, but most recognize Usyk as the division’s man to beat. Nonetheless, expect fireworks in this matchup.
POTENTIAL: Adonis Stevenson vs Badou Jack OR Eleider Alvarez (Date: TBA)
Adonis Stevenson is finalizing a deal for his next “PBC” date in January and is widely expected to take on new light heavyweight Badou Jack or Eleider Alvarez. Stevenson has repeatedly faced criticism throughout his title reign for facing weak opposition. Jack, however, recently won in impressive fashion against Nathan Cleverly, easily outboxing him in route to a 5th round knockout in shocking fashion. Alvarez, has been in line for the mandatory title shot for two years and has repeatedly been paid step-aside fees, so that matchup is way overdue. Either way, Stevenson’s next matchup will make for a great fight.
Yunier Dorticos vs Murat Gassiev # IBF WBA Cruiserweight Title (February 3, Sochi RUS)
This is a matchup that will surely end in a knockout. They call Dorticos “The KO Doctor” as each one of his wins has ended in a knockout in a somewhat underground-career. In the first round, he brutally knocked out Russian Dmitry Kudryashov in the second record. Gassiev won his first match when long-time heavyweight Mike Perez moved down in weight, easily outpointing him in a competitive matchup. This semifinal matchup will be an explosive confrontation.
Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramirez vs Habid Ahmed # WBO Super Middleweight Title (February 13, Corpus Christi TX)
Gilberto Ramirez, perhaps the best super middleweight in the world, is set to take on the unknown Habid Ahmed in what should be an easy night. Also on the card is exciting heavyweight Andy Ruiz, who has incredible hand speed and previously challenged for a title but lost by close decision and Teofimo Lopez, an exciting prospect who should expect to find himself among the pound-for-pound list someday.
England George Groves vs Chris Eubank Jr # WBA Super Middleweight (February 17, Manchester ENG)
This all-British matchup will be the semifinals of Richard Schaeffer’s newly formed “World Boxing Super Series.” George Groves, the veteran underdog, is familiar with British boxing fans, as he has faced many top competitors in his time in the sport. He is going against a talented, young, up-and-coming star in Chris Eubank Jr; who is a favorite to win the series. Eubank just lashed out a hellacious beating against Avni Yildirim, knocking him out in the third round. Expect this to be an exciting fight, as both fighters always bring it in a great stylistic matchup.
Srisaket Sor Rungvisai vs Juan Francisco Estrada # WBC Super Flyweight Title (February 24, Los Angeles CA)
Fight of the year alert! Perhaps the division’s two best and most exciting fighters will be matched up in this can’t miss Card. After thrashing boxing’s pound-for-pound best Roman Gonzalez in their rematch, Sor Rungvisai is taking on Estrada, who is one of boxing’s best. This will be a classic matchup of old pro vs young lion, and the winner will have a bright future in the division. A super-fight between the winner and Naoya Inoue has been hopeful.
POTENTIAL: Naoya Inoue v Luis Nery # Flyweight Title (Date: TBA, Los Angeles CA)
Naoya Inoue is one of the fiercest fighters in the sport, an absolute phenom from Japan. It seems his camp is close to solidifying a deal with Luis Nery in a highly anticipated Super Flyweight division settler. Luis Nery, a talented fighter in his own right, maintains a perfect record in his young career. But he would be overmatched against a pound-for-pound fighter in the making.
Kell Brook vs Sergey Rabchenko # Junior Middleweight (March 3, Sheffield ENG)
This will be the first fight at Junior Middleweight for the well-known Englishman Brook, who is looking to bounce back from a knockout loss to Errol Spence. In 2016, when no welterweights would fight him, Brook moved up two weight classes to challenge pound-for-pound Gennady Golovkin and lost by stoppage when he broke his orbital bone. He will be facing the rugged Rabchenko, and this fight is nowhere near a gimme. It will dictate the career trajectory for Brook after two back-to-back losses resulting in injury.
Sergey Kovalev vs Igor Mikhalkin # WBO Light Heavyweight Title (March 3, New York NY)
After two devastating losses to Andre Ward, many were not sure if Kovalev would return to the same devastating force he has been his whole career. Well, he did just that in November with an early knockout to Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. He will be facing the unknown Mikhalkin in what should be an easy night’s work after Sullivan Barrera turned down the fight.
Dmitry Bivol vs Sullivan Barrera # WBA Light Heavyweight Title (March 3, New York NY)
The light heavyweight division has been put on notice, as there may be a new sheriff in town. Bivol, in less than 15 career fights, has destroyed his opponents, albeit against lesser talent. He is a highly decorated amateur and career fighter who may soon be one of boxing’s best. His true test will come against the battle-tested Barrera, with an excellent resume who’s only one loss is to the great Andre Ward. This is one of the best fights announced for 2018 at the moment. The winner is set up for a match against Sergey Kovalev.
Jose Ramirez vs Amir Imam WBC Junior Welterweight Title (March 17, New York NY)
Imam was a highly anticipated up-and-comer on the fast track to stardom when he shockingly knocked out by the rugged Adrian Granados in 2015. His hype has stalled, but he now gets another shot at the title against undefeated Joe Ramirez, who was a US Olympian with a stellar career. As a pro, he is a young rising talent who is looking to make his name known in his biggest test to date. This will be a crossroads fight for both boxers, dictating who will take the next step as a champion.
POTENTIAL: Anthony Joshua vs Joseph Parker (Date: TBA)
Arguably boxing’s biggest draw, Anthony Joshua, has a plethora of options for his next fight, with many super fights lined up for the next few years. Many question what his next move will be, and it seems as if a deal is imminent between him and New Zealand’s Joseph Parker.
The two have been the most promising heavyweight prospects of arguably the last decade, but in the past few years, Joshua has given impressive performances while Parker has not. He has had close decisions with Andy Ruiz and Hughie Fury, and many times his conditioning has been called into question. They are expected to solidify a deal and Parker would be a huge underdog.
Tony Bellew vs David Haye Heavyweight (May 5, London ENG)
The highly anticipated rematch between Tony Bellew and David Haye is expected to take place in May. Their first fight, in March 2017, ending in shocking upset with an 11th round TKO by Bellew, who was a huge underdog. Haye, however, tore his Achilles tendon during the fight, limiting his mobility. The rematch was originally set to take place on December 17th, but two weeks before the fight Haye had to pull out due to a bicep injury suffered in camp. This fight is expected to be as exciting as the last, and will be a huge draw in England.